If sustainability is important to you, we have six eco-friendly gift ideas to help you during the upcoming holiday season. An ebook reader has the potential to save trees, emissions, and money; bath-related gifts smell amazing and feel nice; candles make everyone’s pandemic-isolated winter more cozy; you can’t go wrong with coffee, tea, or chocolate; and alternative power sources are the future.
An Ebook Reader (or Used Bookstore Gift Card)
If you’re shopping for a book lover, consider buying them an ebook reader. Some book lovers profess to hate ebooks, and it’s a valid point of view. After all, there’s something magical about holding a physical book in your hands. On the other hand, think about how much paper an ebook reader saves. Even if the bibliophile in your life only uses the ebook reader for a percentage of her reading, she’ll still be doing some good for the environment.
Still not sold? That’s okay! Used bookstores provide a great service; they recycle books when their current owners no longer want them. Buy your loved one a gift certificate to their favorite used bookstore, and they’ll think of you as they spend precious hours browsing the stacks.
Zero-Waste, Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly Bath Soaps
Have you ever lingered over the bath soap display at your local health food store? The funny thing is, zero-waste, non-toxic, eco-friendly bath soaps often smell nice. Too often, we think that doing something good or healthy is a chore. But a sustainable soap can be a treat! There are all kinds of awesome bath soaps out there–and from too many brands to even think about mentioning any. Chances are, there’s someone in your town who makes good soaps; if you buy your soap from that person, you’ll be supporting a local business, too. Another great place to look is Etsy. You might find a bath soap, a shampoo bar, and an awesome skincare product all at once!
Non-Toxic, Eco-Friendly Candles
Who doesn’t love a fragrant candle? The problem with many commercially-available candles is that they’re made with toxic ingredients. Paraffin wax creates carcinogens when burned, and if you’re sitting near your candle, you’re probably breathing them in. Some of the chemicals used to make fragrances aren’t so great, either. But you don’t have to give up the luxury of candles. Look for candles labeled 100% soy or beeswax (not a wax blend). As with soaps, there’s a good chance you can find a local candlemaker who uses sustainably-sourced ingredients.
Fair Trade Coffees, Teas, and Chocolates
One of the most underrated gifts–especially during fall and winter–is a selection of coffees, teas, and chocolates. As always, make sure you look for sustainably-sourced options. Fair trade means that producers in developing countries are paid a fair price for their work, and as a consumer in a developer country, you can support this with where you buy your goods. If you’re ever traveling, pick up locally-roasted coffee in other cities; it will make an excellent gift.
Portable Power Products
And now we move up in price range to an amazing gift for the environment-loving outdoorsy person in your life. Companies like Jackery make portable, rechargeable power stations with plug-and-play solar panels, which are great for extended camping trips. The Jackery Explorer 1000 Portable Power Station, for example, carries an impressive list of features, from its variety of output ports to its power capacity. One of the reasons people love Jackery products so much is that they’re lightweight and compatible with a wide range of power plugs. The Explorer 10000 only weighs 22 pounds; it offers two USB-C ports, two USB ports, one DC carport, and three AC outlets (with the purse-sine wave). Pair it with a couple of 100W solar panels by the same company, and you’ll have a turnkey solution for turning the sun into electricity.
Electric Vehicle Charger
If you’re trying to buy a gift for a loved one who drives an electric vehicle, you might make their day with a new car charger. Try the JuiceBox Level 2 charger from Enel X, a California-based company in the sustainable energy industry. The Level 2 charger is easy to install, can be managed by WiFi, includes 25 feet of cable, can be secured with a locking mount, is designed for all weather conditions, and is compatible with all electric vehicles (although an adaptor is needed for Teslas).